Forgiveness of sins is an objective fact. Jesus paid for the sins of the whole world. From God’s side everything is ready for the salvation of the whole
humankind (John 3:16). But forgiveness needs to be personal as well. Baptism
and Holy Communion bring this matter to us personally (Acts 2:38 & Matt 26:28).
The Holy Spirit uses the word and the sacraments to create in us a living faith
which receives the forgiveness of sins. Following the example of the apostles
and Jesus himself we urge people to receive Jesus and believe in him. Without
this personal faith there is no salvation (1 Cor 5:20-6:2). This is why every
Christian should be involved in evangelism.
Mary, mother of Jesus, is a good example of being touched by the Holy Spirit.
The promise of having a baby boy was declared to Mary by an angel. Mary
received this promise by faith, although she did not understand how this would
be possible as a virgin. We are then told that the Holy Spirit overshadowed her
(Luke 2:26-38 & Matt 1:18). This way she started carrying Jesus the Son of God
in her womb. Having Jesus in your life happens according to this pattern: there
is the word of God and the work of the Holy Spirit causing the birth of
spiritual life. You may have noticed the work of the Holy Spirit in you as a
hunger for the word of God, as a heavy feeling of guilt in front of God or as a
joy and thankfulness for God. We may say that a person is awakened. If there
are many people awakening together, we may say there is a revival (Acts 8:4-8).
Turning away from the values and aspirations of this world to God and his ways
is called repentance. The new kind of life as a believer is however not a
result of a reasoning or human decision, but is like a birth, which just
happens without your own effort. Being born again is effected by the Holy
Spirit (John 3:3-8).